|Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison 2016
The late Whitey Harrison is commemorated in the Surf Pioneers category. Harrison is most remembered as one of Southern California’s earliest surfers and board builders.
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Lorrin at Dana Point circa '35
PHOTO: Courtesy of Doc Ball
Surfers will do just about anything for good waves. Evenback in the 1930s, when Lorrin “Whitey” Harrison stowed away aboard cruise ships destined towards Hawaii.
As the legend goes, Harrison was caught and sent back to the mainland. Yet within 24 hours, he was on another stowaway voyage and, although caught again, allowed to remain on Hawaiian soil. This legendary feat placed Harrison, an Orange County Lifeguard and earlyboardbuilder – among the first California surfers to find themselves in Waikiki waters. A few years later, in the late ’30s, Harrison was one of the first surfers to explore the wild frontier of Oahu’s North Shore. But his home was always down at San Onofre. And, up until his pioneering jaunt to Hawaii, Harrison was entrenched in San O’s burgeoning yet somewhat-isolated surf culture.
Lorrin playing the ukulele
PHOTO: Courtesy of Craig Stecyk
SURF PIONEER – Nominees achieved surfing fame as a respected surfer or pioneer in the time before major championship; candidates must either be at least 50 years old or deceased.
PHOTO: Courtesy of Van Swae family archive
Whitey was one of the lucky ones that got to hang out and surf in California with Duke Kahanamoku.